A rare opportunity awaits people in India as the Total Solar Eclipse will be visible on 22nd July 2009. The Solar Eclipse of the Century starts at 5.28 a.m. with totality around 6.30 and ends at 7.40 a.m. This solar eclipse is going to be the longest eclipse in this century and also the longest in India since Aug 18, 1868. Amazingly, none of us would be alive to see the next big eclipse on June 3rd, 2114.
A total solar eclipse leads to an eerie darkness making the stars appear in daytime. Birds go silent and feels exactly like night. It occurs when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun.
The best location to see the eclipse in India will be Arunachal Pradesh. Other places will be West Bengal, Bihar, East UP, Gujarat and then MP. Between 22nd and the next major eclipse in 2114, the only other total solar eclipse is scheduled for March 20, 2034, but that’s going to be visible only from Jammu and Kashmir. This time, it would be viewed from over 3000 km and the total eclipse will last for about 3 min and 30 sec.
What can you expect to see:
Partial Phase: Shadows of tree leaves will get a strange canonical shape with increasing eclipse.
Diamond Ring: Just before and after moon completely blankets over the Sun, rays from the Sun will stream out giving the famous diamond ring effect.
Bailey’s Beads: Tiny beads of light appearing like string of beads will next be seen from lunar valleys and craters.
Corona: During totality, a magnificent aura surrounds the invisible Sun.
Remember, watching the eclipse with naked eyes is dangerous. So, hoping that early morning cloud and monsoon stays away and the sky is clear for you on 22nd morning, take necessary precautions to view this amazing celestial event. Also, do not look directly at the sun during the partial eclipse. Looking at the sun directly can permanently damage your eyes.